Four years ago I decided that I wanted to see Florida high school football at its finest. I recall the days of yesteryear when Vero Beach High School was a perennial power but I was hearing stories about a school in Miami that had more division I talent than a lot of division I schools.
Anyone that knows me knows that I spend half of almost every summer in Florida with my college roommate and my second family the Gary’s. All summer that year all I heard was talk from golf courses in Jensen Beach and Port St. Lucie, to the basketball courts in Fort Lauderdale about the depth of this Northwestern squad. So I decided to gear up and fly south to see it for myself. Of course you know I had to see them play against something worthwhile and let me tell you that I was not disappointed.
What I saw that night was breath taking. Jacory Harris was a long slender young man and when I saw him I immediately was thinking: “Here we go again, another running quarterback…I know they didn’t bring me down here for this.” Boy was I wrong. The first play of the game Jacory Harris takes the snap and pump fakes to the left drawing the safety to that side and turns right and throws a 70 yard bomb to Tommy Streeter. I remember yelling out "Holy (expletive), that Streeter kid is fast, why aren’t they doubling him? They watch tape, they have to know that he is the deep threat."
The next time the Bulls had the ball, Harris rolls left and throws a 7 yard drag route to Kendall Thompkins and he took it 84 yards for a score. All I could say was wow. Then my boy leaned over to me and said, "They haven’t even thrown the ball to their best player yet." I just started laughing. What a mistake on my part. The next drive was 4 plays long. The first was a run play up the middle that went for 3 yards. The second was a hitch to Kendall Thompkins for 6 yards. The third play was a run up the middle for 3 more yards giving the Bulls a first down. The fourth play was a 67 yard touchdown pass to Aldarius Johnson, who blew me away when he caught a 15 yard square in and took it to the house making 6 guys miss before outrunning the rest.
There was no doubt that the talent that Harris was throwing to was elite, but what I noticed by the end of the game had me even more impressed. The entire game Harris only had 4 incompletions and 2 of them were drops. This kid was slinging the ball all over the field, making all of the "pro" throws and there wasn’t a flaw in his form. I kept saying to everyone that this kid will be the next big thing once he gets his footwork together.
Well after a few years of college I was sure Harris would emerge as that guy. He has all the tools, there is no real reason why he shouldn't be the talk of this NFL draft class. The only problem is that he isn't. In fact you can argue that he is dissappointing to say the least. Harris is a let down in every sence of the word. He hasn't performed the way everyone expected and he had several weapons around him to ensure his greatness.
The NFL draft is approaching and despite a better than average senior season, Harris isn't being mentioned as an NFL draft prospect. Coming out of high school I would have bet all of the $53 that I have in the bank that Harris would be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation by his senior year. He runs well, he throws well, but something never resignated from the young man during his college years. I honestly think you can attribute some of it to coaching and the rest of it to discipline.
Harris is a prime example of a guy having all the tools but never really connecting all the dots. Hopefully he gets a chance to play on the next level and show everyone what he is capable of. I will be rooting for the young man.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!
I know the U faithful are hoping this is the case!